In my redneck town, in 1982,

Kindergarten kids wanted teacher Betty Lou.

By some mistake, some unbelievable twist,

My daughter’s name was on the “other teacher” list!


Oh, the other teacher was kind to each child,

She greeted the children and at each one she smiled.

But she was Jewish and not Betty Lou —

I planned to protest and to the office I flew.


The sign on the door read “All Schedules Are Firm”

Well, the bluntness took the curl right out of my perm!

At home I cried at what I couldn’t undo.

No homegrown teacher to teach us, no Betty Lou.


I gathered my pity and watched for the bus,

Expecting a sad daughter and a sobbing fuss.

“Oh, my little darling,” I started to say,

Interrupted, I heard, “Mom, I had the best day!”


She gave great detail and her teacher such praise,

That I could almost picture God’s left eyebrow raise.

A stinging reminder of what I once knew —

Do not choose to judge others or you’ll be judged too!

Marlene Tucker, a native of Haslet, Texas, makes her home on a farm just outside Axtell with her husband, Bill. She says there is a poetic story in almost everything. Email her at